Public Sculpture in Kalamazoo
Fine Works of Bold Artistic Expression
The landscape of Kalamazoo is home to many fine works of public sculpture. From the monuments and memorials of Bronson Park to the works of bold artistic expression found at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and the campus of Western Michigan University, local and international artists have provided the citizens of Kalamazoo a pleasant and unique environment in which to conduct their daily affairs.
Featured in this gallery are many of Kalamazoo’s most prominent examples of public works of art.
“People” by Kirk Newman (1926-2017)
Bronze, 1973-1974. Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (north side), 314 South Park St, Kalamazoo.
“Viewfinder” by Marcia Wood (1933-2000)
Aluminum, 2001. Epic Center, 359 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo. Wood was a professor of art at Kalamazoo College.
Donor Wall by Xibitz/Chuck Plockmeyer
Mixed Metals, 2000. Epic Center, 359 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo.
Aluminum, 1970. Epic Center, 359 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo. Deluca taught art at Western Michigan University from 1966 to 1996.
Bust of Lt. Richard B. Westnedge by Pompeo Luigi Coppini (1870–1957)
Riverside Cemetery, Kalamazoo, c. 1984. The bronze bust faced west on a marble base in Section E of the cemetery. The sculpture was created by Pompeo L. Coppini, and placed in the cemetery 29 May 1901, 2 years after Lt. Westnedge’s death while on duty in the Philippines as a member of the U.S. Army. Lt. Westnedge, a surgeon in the Spanish American War, is depicted in his uniform. Photo P-1123 (left) was taken in profile, photo P-1124 (right) in 3/4 profile. The bust was stolen in 2013 and is still missing as of this writing.
Detail of the base
Two stooped figures, one a male with a dagger and shield representing patriotism (left), and the other a female writing in a book, representing history (right). Immediately above these figures is a row of leaves separating the base from the words “Richard B. Westnedge, Surgeon, 3rd Infty. U.S.A.” (KPL catalog number P-1125)
“Industrial Forms II” by Douglas Mahlon Gruizenga (1947-)
Cor-ten steel 1974-1975. North side of Eleanor Street, east of North Burdick/Kalamazoo Mall.
“The Wheel of History” by Mark Lere (1950-)
Concrete 2002. North Kalamazoo Mall, Arcadia District. Deaccessioned July 2021.
Statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. (left) by Lisa Reinertson (1955-)
Concrete and Bronze 1989. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, 507 N Rose St, Kalamazoo. The base of the statue is inscribed with the following quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr:
“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: It is the presence of justice.”
“Every man must decide if he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgement. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
“Yes, if you want to say I was a drum major, say I was a drum major for justice: Say that I was a drum major for peace: I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. …I just want to leave a committed life behind.”
“Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon. It is a weapon unique in history which cuts without wounding, and enables the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.”
Bronze 1923. North-east corner of Bronson Park, Kalamazoo. Placed to commemorate the American soldiers who fought in the Spanish–American War, the Boxer Rebellion and the Philippine–American War. The placard on the monument states:
“1898—1902. Erected by the citizens of Kalamazoo City and County to commemorate the valor and patriotism of those who served in the war with Spain, the Philippine Insurrection and the China Relief Expedition.”
U.S.S. Maine Memorial Tablet by Charles Keck (1875-1951)
Bronze (cast from metal recovered from the U.S.S. Maine) 1913.
South central portion of Bronson Park directly north of Saint John Place, Kalamazoo.
“When Justice and Mercy Prevail, Children May Safely Play” by Kirk Newman (1926-2017)
Bronze 1976. Bronson Park Kalamazoo. Removed in 2018 during park renovation.
Concrete 1939. Bronson Park, Kalamazoo. Removed in 2018.
Bronze 1997. Student Recreation Center, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
“Self-Portrait” (left) and “Portrait of Dorothy Rhines” (right) by Glen Roberts
Concrete 1999. Lee Honors College, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
“The Professor” (left) and “Campus Talk” (right) by Dennis Smith (1942-)
Bronze 1997. Chemistry Building, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
“Table Sculpture, Can’t Recall a Time” (left) by John Hock
Haenicke Hall, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. Hock is the founding director of Franconia Sculpture Park in Franconia, Minnesota, chief curator and manager for the City of St. Paul’s Western Sculpture Park, and co-founder of the City of Poughkeepsie Sculpture Park in New York.
“Sun Disc” (right) by Jerry Dumlao
Bronze 1971. Gilmore Theatre Complex, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. Dumlao was a former faculty member in the WMU sculpture program.
Rood Hall, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
“Sky Grinder” (left) by Glenn Zweygardt (1943-)
1986. Lee Honors College, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. Zweygardt is a professor emeritus of sculpture at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred Station, New York.
“Helmet #7” (right) by John Payne
1989. Everett Tower, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. Payne was sculptor in residence and a member of the art faculty at Governors State University in Chicago.
“The Michigan Copper Erratic” (left) discovered by Brian Schultz
Copper 2006. Rood Hall, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. A large piece of native copper, shaped like the state of Michigan. Discovered in Lake Superior by Brian Schultz. Recovered in 2006 by Brian and Paula Schultz, Don and Katie Anderson, Ben, Kristie, and Bella Bigari. On loan from the State of Michigan, Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
“Shelter Shift #5.04” (right) by Phillip Dale Vander Weg (1943-)
Gilmore Theater Complex, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. Vander Weg is a professor of art at Western Michigan University.
Western Trolley Replica by WMU engineering students
2003. Bernhard Center, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
The non-working replica of Western’s iconic East Campus incline railway was created by Jeffrey Clausen, Corey Hendrix, Aron Murphy, and Brian VanderPloeg, students in the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences. The four created the replica as a senior design project during the University’s centennial celebration. It was removed in 2011 for repair.
From WMU News: “The famous Western Trolley was actually classified and registered as a railroad. It is the only known incline railroad in the history of the state of Michigan, and may be the only railroad ever owned and operated by a college or university. For nearly 40 years, the Western Trolley carried students and faculty up and down the steep incline of Prospect Hill, on which the original WMU campus was built. An article in a 1931 issue of the Western Herald, student newspaper, reported that the trolley averaged 2,280 passengers daily. In its heyday, the trolley at Western State Teachers College was featured in newspapers from Chicago to Detroit. After World War II, however, use of the trolley declined, and by 1949, safety issues and rising maintenance costs forced the school to shutdown and dismantle the trolleys.”
“The Committee” by Albert LaVergne (1943-2020)
1999. Wood Hall, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. LaVergne was a professor of art at Western Michigan University and Southern University Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“Three Figures” by Carole Harrison (1933-
Brass 1971-1972. Dorothy U. Dalton Center, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. Harrison is a former WMU faculty and head of the WMU sculpture program.
“Untitled” by Charles Huntington (1925-2017)
1988. West Michigan Roundabout, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
“Bird Effigy” by Truman Lowe (1944-2019)
Aluminum. Gilmore Theatre Complex, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. Lowe was a professor of fine art at the University of Wisconsin, and served as a curator of contemporary art at the National Museum of the American Indian.
“Motif” (left) by Carole Harrison (1933-)
1982. Dorothy U. Dalton Center, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. Harrison is a former WMU faculty and head of the WMU sculpture program.
“Nature’s Palette” (right) by Richard Hunt (1935-)
Bronze 1993. Nelda K. Balch Playhouse, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo. Made possible through the support of the Kalamazoo College Artist In-Residence Endowment.
“Prospect” by Marcia Wood (1933-2000)
Steel 1982. Light Fine Arts Building, Kalamazoo College. Sesquicentennial gift of the Women’s Council of Kalamazoo College, 1982. Fabricated by David Volosky and Leon Hillman. Marcia Wood was a former professor of art at Kalamazoo College.
Civil War Soldiers Monument (left) (artist unknown)
Riverside Cemetery, Kalamazoo, c. 1984. Granite carved figure of a Civil War soldier holding a rifle with the stock resting on the ground. The figure stands on a granite column base facing south in Section H of the cemetery. Sculptor is unknown, but the statue was dedicated September 22, 1901.
“Image of the Invisible God” by Kirk Newman (1926-2017)
Bronze 1981. First Presbyterian Church, 321 W South Street, Kalamazoo.
“The Passing of Colored Volume” by Jerald Wayne Jacquard (1937-2020)
Aluminum 1968. Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 South Park Street, Kalamazoo. Jacquard taught at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and was a Professor Emeritus of Indiana University.
“Kalamazoo Ruby Light Chandelier” (left) by Dale Chihuly (1941-)
Glass 1998. Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 South Park Street, Kalamazoo.
“Ishtar” (right) by William Zorach (1887-1966)
Bronze 1931. Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 South Park Street, Kalamazoo.
“Procession” by Marcia Wood (1933-2000)
Polychromed Steel 1985. Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 South Park Street, Kalamazoo. Wood was a former professor of art at Kalamazoo College.
“Seated Female” (left) by Carole Harrison (1933-)
Brass 1969. Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 South Park Street, Kalamazoo. Harrison is a former WMU faculty and head of the WMU sculpture program.
“Four Lines Oblique Gyratory, Variation IV” (right) by George Rickey (1907-2002)
Stainless steel 1973. Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 South Park Street, Kalamazoo.
Seth Thomas Clock (left) (artist unknown)
Cast iron c.1868. East Michigan Avenue, Downtown Kalamazoo. Made by the Seth Thomas Clock Company.
“Aurora’s Necklace” (right) by Martha Croasdale
Kiln Cast Lead Crystal 2002. Epic Center, 359 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo. A kinetic sculpture commissioned by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo.
Festival Place Turtle by John Richard “Rick” Light (1940-2018)
Bronze 2011. Arcadia Creek Festival Place, 145 E Water St, Kalamazoo. A native of Kalamazoo, Light studied figure sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Scottsdale Artist’s School, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.
Disabled Veterans Memorial by Kirk Newman (1926-2017)
Bronze 1985. Kalamazoo County 8th District Court, 227 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo.
Mankato Stone 1936-1937. Kalamazoo County 8th District Court, 227 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo.